Nirvana in Fire

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Name: 琅琊榜; Lángyá Bǎng, Nirvana in Fire
Abbreviation(s): NiF
Creator: Hai Yan, Kong Sheng, Li Xue
Medium: TV (book)
Country of Origin: China
External Links:
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Nirvana in Fire is a Chinese historical drama TV show that aired in 2015. It is based on a novel by Hai Yan that was originally serially published online. The drama was very popular and successful and won multiple awards.

Plot synopsis

Twelve years ago the Emperor was led to believe that the Crown Prince and the Chiyan army were traitors and had them all killed. The general's son, Lin Shu, survived with the help of the doctor (and later master of Langya Hall) Lin Chen, although because of a rare poison his appearance was changed. He took on the identity of Mei Changsu and became the leader of an alliance in the pugilist world and a political strategist. At the beginning of the show he returns to the capital, where the new Crown Prince and Prince Yu are fighting for power. Mei Changsu intends to clear the names of the Chiyan army and prove their innocence, as well as help his childhood friend, the unfavored prince Xiao Jingyan, ascend the throne. He reveals his former identity neither to Jingyan nor to his former fiancée, Mu Nihuang, but both soon start to suspect the truth.

NiF is very popular among fans of tropes along the lines of identity porn, revenge stories, loyalty themes, and political conspiracies.

Chinese-speaking fandom

English-speaking fandom

Since no complete translation of the novel into English exists yet, English-speaking fandom is based pretty much entirely on subbed versions of the TV show (though a few authors have incorporated elements from the book, like Jingyan's wolf Foya.)

(To add: when and how it became popular, the "join us, you will cry"-recruitment pitches)

Characters' names are often abbreviated: Jingyan = JY, Lin Shu = LS, Mei Changsu = MCS, Zhanying = ZY etc.


NiF fanworks range from even more angsty than canon to pure fluff (though there is more of the former than the latter.) Popular tropes are post-canon works where Mei Changsu survives and other kinds of canon-divergent fix-it fic, as well as Modern AUs.

The most popular pairing by far is Lin Shu/Xiao Jingyan. The most popular het pairing is Lin Shu/Mu Nihuang.

Because the Chinese fandom is much larger than the English-speaking one and also has excellent stories, there are quite a few translations from Chinese into English.

NiF is the third most popular cdrama fandom for podfic, after MDZS/The Untamed and Guardian.[1]


Nirvana in Fire 2

In 2017 aired a sequel, "Nirvana in Fire 2: The Wind Blows in Changlin." It takes place many (around 40 years after Mei Changsu died) years later and follows the members of the house of Chang Lin among military and political crises.

The English-speaking fandom's reaction was lukewarm: while few outright hated it, very few were enthusiastic about it and many fans of the first season didn't even finish the second.

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.

There are very few fanworks about the second season.



  1. ^ As of 10 October 2021, the sidebar filter on Bookmarked Items in Cnovel & Cdrama Podfics lists Nirvana in Fire (TV) with 93 podfics, after Módào Zǔshī - Mòxiāng Tóngxiù (794), 陈情令 | The Untamed (TV) (781), and 镇魂 | Guardian (TV 2018) (164).